My Top 10 Favorite Guitar Riffs

In no particular order, here are the songs containing my top 10 favorite guitar riffs:

  • Day Tripper (The Beatles)
  • I Feel Fine (The Beatles)
  • Can’t Explain (The Who)
  • Paperback Writer (The Beatles)
  • Rebel Rebel (David Bowie)
  • Couldn’t I Just Tell You (Todd Rundgren)
  • Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix)
  • Ticket to Ride (The Beatles)
  • Last Train to Clarksville (The Monkees)
  • Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry)

Secret Agent Man – Jerry Schwartz (Live)

I love holiday weekends! Here’s a video from a rocking holiday weekend a few years ago at a family reunion. That’s my brother Todd behind me on guitar, and my brother Troy is playing drums. Also playing but not shown are my sister Kasha Phillips (keyboards), her husband Mike (bass guitar), and Todd’s wife Holly (tambourine).

My Fender Acoustic Guitar

Fender Acoustic Guitar

When I recently discovered that I had more than a few stickers lying around, I decided that my Fender CD60CE dreadnought guitar was fair game for a few of them and proceeded to give it a new look. I’m guessing this is only the start, but for now, this is what my guitar looks like. The stickers I used were The Who (3), Propellerhead Reason (3), WZRD’s 40th Anniversary, and Batman. Long live rock.

My Favorite Albums of 2008

Arena

Here are my favorite albums of 2008 in order of preference.

Arena (Todd Rundgren)
Without a doubt, my most-listened-to album of 2008. Some of my fave moments on the album remind me of P.O.V. (Utopia), and I enjoy all the rest as well.

Earth to the Dandy Warhols (The Dandy Warhols)
Great stuff, and like Arena, a pleasant mix of old sounds and new in terms of the respective artists and their output. With the exception of “Mis Amigos,” I gave these tracks lots of plays. It seems like I waited forever for this album, and the Dandys made it worth the wait.

Funplex (The B-52’s)
The B-52’s have always been a guilty pleasure of mine, and this album was no exception. I would have preferred more of the distinctive guitar sounds I have come to enjoy from this group, but that did not detract from the fun.

Brown Submarine (Boston Spaceships)
This debut CD from Robert Pollard’s new band got my vote for Surprise of the Year. I sometimes listen to a song I really like over and over, and “Two Girl Area” (track 5) was one of those in 2008.

The Jerrys Live at WZRD Chicago 88.3 FM

The Jerrys Live at WZRD

I had fun playing the music of The Jerrys live on May 1 in the WZRD studio. Playing and singing while accompanying myself via a laptop, I played ten songs by The Jerrys, including a preview of the not-yet-released single, “I’m a Reader”:

1. Every Girl
2. What the World Could Use a Lot More Of
3. New Day
4. Let’s Groove
5. Bigger Than Oprah
6. When I’m in Love
7. Bridget and Me
8. Back in the Day
9. Telepop
10. I’m a Reader

Alejandro Aguilar interviewed me halfway through the set, and he and the other folks at WZRD (or “wizards,” as they are known) were fantastic. I especially thank Alejandro, Ellie, and Rick for all of their help and for making the night so enjoyable. Check out the video I posted for “Every Girl.”

Stay tuned for more music from The Jerrys, and be sure to visit The Jerrys’ website.

My Top 10 Favorite Onomatopoeic Words

Bam

Wikipedia defines onomatopoeia as “a word that phonetically imitates, resembles, or suggests the source of the sound that it describes.” I’ve always thought of these types of words as fun. Even as a child, I marveled at how words describing animal noises (eg, “oink,” “moo,” “arf”) sounded like the sounds the animals made. Here are my top 10 favorite onomatopoeic words.

  • arf
  • bang
  • buzz
  • click
  • hiss
  • kerplunk
  • pop
  • twang
  • tweet
  • zap

For some real onomatopoeic fun, be sure to listen to “Onomatopoeia” by Todd Rundgren. The song, from Rundgren’s Hermit of Mink Hollow, contains many onomatopoeic words as well as samples of the sounds themselves.